AC/DC‘s Brian Johnson has explained Justin Hawkins‘ “awkward” mic grab during a joint performance at the Taylor Hawkins tribute concert in London.
- READ MORE: Inside the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert: “A gigantic fucking night for a gigantic fucking person”
The Darkness‘ frontman appeared onstage with Johnson and Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich to perform AC/DC‘s classic single ‘Back In Black’ at the special Wembley Stadium event. Hawkins was seen taking the mic from Johnson, before swapping lines with the singer.
Some viewers subsequently accused Hawkins of “stealing the mic” from the AC/DC frontman, a claim Hawkins then denied on social media, explaining: “10 seconds before the AC DC section Brian told me to get up for the second verse of [‘Back In Black’].”
Giving his own take on events during an appearance on the Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk radio show on SiriusXM, Johnson said: “We were getting ready to go on. Justin came up, and he was going, ‘Brian, I cannot believe I’m here.’ He said, ”Back In Black’ is my favourite of all songs in the world, and I’d love to be able to sing [it].’ And I said, ‘Come on and sing the second verse. Can you do that?’ And he went, ‘Oh, do you mean it?’
“He turned… Dave Grohl was there. He said, ‘Dave, Brian has just asked [me] to sing the second verse of ‘Back In Black’.’ And Dave Grohl said, ‘If Brian Johnson asks you to sing the second verse of ‘Back In Black’, you sing it.’ And he did. And then he got on. And I think he chickened out halfway through and I forgot the fucking words.
“But the worst thing was he got so excited, he came out and he forgot to bring a microphone with him. So that’s why it looked so awkward, trying to sing with one microphone. And he’s, like, six-foot-fuckin’-two or something.”
Back In Black -Foo Figthers feat Brian Johnson, (AC/DC) Lars Ulrich (Metallica)#taylorhawkinstribute #taylorhawkins
— Andres E. Florez M. 🎸🎶 (@andrumayorga) September 3, 2022
The Taylor Hawkins tribute concert also featured performances from the likes of Queen, Liam Gallagher, Supergrass, Rush and Dave Grohl’s daughter Violet. In a heartfelt opening speech, Grohl promised that the event would be “a gigantic fucking night for a gigantic fucking person”.
Elsewhere at the gig, Them Crooked Vultures – the supergroup comprising Grohl, Led Zeppelin‘s John Paul Jones, and Queens Of The Stone Age‘s Josh Homme and Alain Johannes – reunited for their first live appearance in 12 years.
The surviving members of Foo Fighters closed the six-hour show with an emotional greatest hits set. Grohl and co. were joined by a revolving cast of guest drummers, including Travis Barker, Nandi Bushell and Taylor Hawkins’ 16-year-old son Shane.